Skip to main content

Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

See other formats

moves. Since the economic migrant has chosen to move into an area where the economic opportunities are greater than exist in his place of origin, the economic migrant generally finds more employment opportunities and receives a higher income than the political migrant. In contrast, a migrant who has moved under compulsion cannot often choose to move into an area which is likely to offer more economic opportunities than his home area. The political migrant was often part of a relatively comfortable economic minority in his place of origin. Moreover, while the economic migrant has often moved as an individual, bringing his family only after he has achieved some improvement in his economic position, the political migrant generally moves with his entire family and his large financial responsibilities while he is seeking employment. He is, therefore, often more dependent on society for housing, schools, family medical care, and other facilities. He is more of a burden on the country to which he moves. He is more likely to be restive, violent, and hostile to the existing political order than is the economic migrant who may be pleased with his new opportunities.*
One of the factors which affects the political behavior of the migrant is his motivation for moving, the political or economic circumstances which led him to move. But, the migrant's political attitudesówhat group he joins, how he feels about the political system he now lives in, what he demands of government, and how he makes these demandsóare affected by many other variables. Relevant questions are: Has the migrant moved from one rural area to another? From a rural to an urban area? From one urban center to another? Within the country or across an international boundary? Is the migrant a part of a stream of people who have moved from a common single origin to a single destination, or is he among migrants who come from a wide variety of places? Is the migrant different in language, religion, or race from other migrants in the region in which he now lives? Is he different in these respects from local inhabitants? What kinds of economic opportunities does the migrant find, and are they above or below his expectations? And finally, what kind of political system has the migrant moved into? Is it one which allows him unrestricted rights of participation or one which is politically closed? And insofar as the system is politically open, who organizes the migrant when he arrivesócommunists or socialists, populists or royalists, local inhabitants or fellow migrants?
*For a comparison of the differences in the political behavior of economic and political migrants in Calcutta, see Weiner (59). Much of the theoretical literature on the behavior of migrants to urban areas is based on Park's theory of marginality (60). For an excellent critique of Park, see (61), a study of migrants in Wilmington, Delaware, which shows that genuine uprooting among migrants is not widespread nor is there extensive social disorganization. The authors focus on the mediating role played by kinsmen in easing the adaptation of migrants to the city. For a comprehensive review and critique of much of the literature on the political behavior of urban migrants, see (62).
See also Harley Browning, "Migrant Selectivity and the Growth of Large Cities in Developing Countries," in this volume.